Cesc Fabregas: 10 Ways He's Made Barcelona Better

Ed Rusoke-SpencerContributor IIJanuary 10, 2012

Cesc Fabregas: 10 Ways He's Made Barcelona Better

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    Cesc Fabregas has been a revelation for Barcelona since he joined in the summer of last year. At 24 the midfielder has every chance of not only becoming a legend for the Spanish giants but one of the best midfielders of all time.

    In the six months since he returned to the Camp Nou, he has chipped in regularly with goals and assists, making himself indispensable to manager Pep Guardiola.

    This article lists 10 reasons why Barcelona are better with Fabregas in the team.

Goals

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    At Arsenal, Fabregas was known more for his creativity rather than his goal-scoring exploits and only broke into double figures for a season in the 2009/2010 campaign, when he scored 15 league goals.

    The nine goals he has scored this season leave him in a good position to have his most successful campaign in front of goal.

    The Spaniard is second in the club scoring charts and has scored at important moments, most notably the third against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

    Fabregas has the attributes to finish each season as Barcelona's top-scoring midfielder.

Partnership with Messi

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    Lionel Messi and Fabregas have developed an incredible understanding which has produced 26 goals between them this season.

    The pair, who played together in the Barcelona youth side as teenagers, seem to have picked up where they left off.

    Barcelona are certainly at their most dangerous when the two of them are attacking and while Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims that injured striker David Villa will be sold, the striker may have a tough time regaining his place, as the partnership between Messi and Fabregas looks set to strengthen.

Aerial Threat

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    Since Fabregas arrived at Barcelona the Spanish champions look more dangerous as an aerial threat.

    While their buildup play is a thing of beauty, having somebody who is dangerous in the air allows Barcelona to catch their opponents off guard.

    Barca's tendency to use short corners was a strong indication that they were overlooking attacks from the air.

    The midfielder's attacking surges have provided the team with more opportunities to score from headers, and having scored a couple with his head already, Fabregas looks set to continue being an aerial nuisance for opposing defenders.

Impact on Xavi

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    When Arsenal entered into talks with Barcelona about selling Cesc Fabregas, some people feared the Gunners captain would be nothing more than a backup to Xavi.

    His performances this season have proved that he is not at the Camp Nou to warm the bench and his arrival has had a positive effect on his Spanish teammate.

    With Fabregas in the team, Xavi can venture forward and has become more of an attacking threat. He has scored more this term than in his previous two seasons.

    Fabregas allows less pressure to be placed upon Xavi's shoulders and could be key to the longevity of Xavi's career.

Team Spirit

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    Cesc Fabregas had an advantage even before he joined Barcelona. He enjoyed a good rapport with many of his future colleagues and was especially good friends with Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and his childhood teammate Lionel Messi.

    Moving to Barcelona is daunting, and many have struggled to replicate the success they achieved elsewhere. Fabregas, however, has been a great addition not only on the pitch, but in the locker room as well.

    Cesc's good relationship with the club, staff and fans helped the midfielder to settle in to the team smoothly and play like he never left.

Long-Term Potential

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    It is scary to think that a player of Cesc Fabregas' quality has the ability to become even better.

    Most footballers would be content with just a fraction of the talent the Spaniard possesses.

    While Xavi is often considered to be the best player in the world, in his position, Fabregas has the potential to be even better than his midfield partner.

    The former Arsenal skipper is seven years younger and at 24 is arguably a much better player than Xavi was at his age.

    While this is no easy task, Fabregas has the potential to become Barcelona's greatest-ever midfielder.

Work Ethic

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    Those who play for Barcelona are generally considered to be the best in the world. In order to keep your place in the team, hard work is a necessity, and Cesc Fabregas has brought an abundance of this to the club.

    Fabregas said that in order to keep his place he has had to work harder than he did at Arsenal. This is testament to his work ethic as the pace and tight marking in the Premier League is second to none.

    His hard work has been rewarded as Fabregas is arguably playing the best football of his life.

Versatility

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    In Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona have a player that can play in multiple positions. He is impressive anywhere in midfield or behind the striker.

    The Spaniard's versatility is vital to Barcelona and it feels like the club signed more than one player in Fabregas.

    Before Fabregas was signed, Xavi believed the Arsenal midfielder would be the final piece of the puzzle and this appears to be the case.

    While Barcelona were a quality side before he joined, it is now impossible to imagine them without him.

Formations

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    The arrival of Cesc Fabregas has allowed Pep Guardiola to use different formations to utilize the midfielder's talents.

    This season the manager has often picked a 4-1-4-1 formation. With Fabregas in the team there is less pressure on Iniesta and Xavi which demonstrates how much the former Arsenal man contributes to the cause.

    The 3-4-3 formation has also been used, allowing Fabregas and Xavi to alternate in the midfield, with Xavi pushing forward and Fabregas holding back.

Adaptation

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    At Arsenal, Fabregas had to deal with the immense pressure of being the most important player in the team.

    At Barcelona he has had to adapt to being among a team of stars. This can be daunting, especially when you are not used to playing alongside world-class players—no disrespect to Arsenal, but Iniesta and Xavi offer slightly more than Denilson and Abou Diaby.

    He has fitted in perfectly and his impressive performances at such an early stage in his Barcelona career promise exciting times ahead for fans.